Thursday, July 31, 2008

Phew...

This might be the longest I have ever gone without posting. This past week has been crazy. I have been testing a recipe for a contest I am entering, doing my final prep for the birthday cupcake extravaganza and packing for our trip. So this post is not food related unfortunately but it will still be good as I have been awarded with my first blog award. Thanks to Teresa Cordero Cordell over at Mexican American Border Cooking I get to bestow this award to 5 fellow bloggers. So here is the award and the lucky recipients.


Grace from A Southern Grace, I look forward to the humor and great food on this site everyday!

Leslie from The Hungry Housewife, PMS Cookies and Brownies Need I say More!

Cathy from Noble Pig, I enjoy every post and commentary on life.

Patricia from Technicolor Kitchen, I look forward to reading this blog daily and appreciate all of the helpful information she bestows.

Kevin at Closet Cooking, Beautiful pictures and even better sounding food.

I might be able to post my contest recipe and photo I need to read the fine print of the rules. So Stay tuned!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Need for Inspiration


I did it again I bought produce with no plan in mind and now I am sitting here with very ripe peaches and nothing to use them on. I have scoured the internet for days looking for something to do with peaches and nothing is striking my fancy. Then I found it and once again Peabody was a savior. Once I saw Brown Sugar Pound Cake, I just knew that I had found it. It was like finding a vintage t shirt at a thrift store and it only being 50 cents. So I knew i need to act quickly because my peaches would soon turn to mush. So I set about to make this cake and peach sauce and it was just what the doctor ordered. It was fast to make, made my house smell fantastic and brown sugar and peaches to me just go hand in hand.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Peach Sauce

1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
3 cups of AP flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups of light brown sugar
5 large eggs
3/4 cup of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325. Spray two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch pans with non stick baking spray. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, then add in the eggs one at a time, mix until incorporated. Add in the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. Divide evenly between the two pans and smooth the top of the batter. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from the pans and cool completely.

Peach Sauce
6 large ripe peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
2 teaspoons of sugar if your peaches are not sweet enough

In a saucepan over medium heat cook the peaches until they are starting to break down and smush them up a little to break them down.

Place some sauce over the bread and serve warm.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Apple Pie Baked in a Brown Paper Bag

Apple Pie baked in a Brown Paper Bag. Yes it sounds strange but it is the best Apple Pie I have ever had in my whole life. If you ever have the chance to make it to Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago Wisconsin I highly recommend you do. It’s not too far from Lake Geneva WI or Milwaukee and its definitely worth the trip. This pie brings back great memories for me. I was first introduced to this pie when I was a camp counselor in a nearby town. We had a day off and one of my fellow counselors was raving about this pie so we took a trip. Let me say that coming from a metropolitan area I was amazed and in love at first site. It’s very rustic and inviting and the smell of fresh baked pies hits you right as you walk in. They have a lot more than just pies, they have cheese, ham, fresh fruit, amazing berry apple cider, and a tons of other baked goods. I won’t go on about those just check out their website. Once I made it past all of the other items they offer in the store I was faced with a fantastic display of baked goods and many bakers racks of pies. We chose to go with the classic apple pie, a 9 inch pie for 3 people. We drove back to camp for what seemed like hours with the fresh baked pie in the back seat the smell of sweet buttery goodness calling our name. We were able to make it up the lodge before we dug into the pie. 3 forks and 20 minutes later the pie was gone. After that I was hooked, I brought one home to my family the next time I went home. In hindsight that was a bad idea because every time I came home I had to pick up at least 3 pies then,1 fresh and 2 frozen. Because they too had become hooked. When P and I were dating I told him about this pie and when we went to go see my sister who by then was a counselor herself we got a pie. And he too was astounded by how good this pie was. We then brought it for Thanksgiving to his family and they really liked the pie as well. So because I have introduced to many people already, I thought why not introduce it the masses via my blog. So this love affair with the Best Apple Pie began over 10 years ago and will continue for a long time to come.

One of my favorite parts of this pie is removing the bag from the pie. As you slowly pull of pieces of the bag some of the fantastic buttery crust will come off and you can peel it off of the bag and snack on it so no one knows you already had a taste when you bring out the pie. And Finally a picture of a slice of pie. Bet you wish you had a piece right now!



Update - I have had a lot of people asking for a recipe for this and trust me I wish I had one. I did find this http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gale-gand/apple-pie-baked-in-a-bag-recipe/index.html
and in the comments people have suggestions but I don't think that Elegant Farmer will ever give up the recipe.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Banana Bread Ice Cream


While looking through Perfect Scoop I found the recipe for Roasted Banana Ice Cream and thought I would give it a shot as I just happened to have exactly 3 ripe bananas. I felt it was an omen to make this ice cream. The roasting of the bananas was really easy and left me plenty of time to make the rest of the ice cream. I know its called Roasted Banana Ice Cream but take one bite of this ice cream and you will agree it tastes just like Banana Bread. P and I were shocked at how much it did taste like Banana Bread. But it is addictive and makes me crave real banana bread but all my banana's were used up on this ice cream so that will have to wait.


Banana Bread Ice Cream

3 medium sized ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup of packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups of half and half
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the bananas into 1/2 inch pieces and toss them with the brown sugar and butter in a 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring them once during baking, until the bananas are browned and cooked through. Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the baking dish into a blender. Add in the half and half, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt and blend until smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Adapted from Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Ice Cream


This post is all about cravings. As it encompasses two of my favorite desserts, cheesecake and ice cream. It was way too hot to turn on the oven today but none the less I was craving cheesecake. So I decided that I should probably go through my cookbooks and see what I could make. I have owned Perfect Scoop for probably a year now and haven't made a damn thing out of it. So it was about time. So when I saw Cheesecake Ice Cream I knew I had hit the jackpot. There were multiple pluses to this recipe, you did not have to cook the base, and it was all made in the blender so basically no work for me. The base tastes as good as the ice cream, so don't eat too much of it otherwise there won't be much ice cream. Both P and I loved this ice cream, it really does taste like cheesecake.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Ice Cream

8 oz of cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of half and half
2/3 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt

In a blender or food processor add the sour cream, cream cheese, half and half, sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt. Blend until smooth and then chill in the refrigerator. Then freeze it your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Adapted from Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Top Ten of Sorts

I was tagged a while back by Grace of A Southern Grace to post my top 10 pictures from my blog and I'm just now getting around to doing it. So here goes in no particular order.......

Blackberry Ice Cream


Orange Cornmeal Cake


Fake Out Trifle




Peach Cobbler


Blackberry Jam Cake



Blackberry Streusel Muffins


Lemon Sandwich Cookies


Monkey Bread


Pear and Cinnamon Madeleines




Steak House Mushroom Crostini


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peach Cobbler


While trying to figure out what to make from all of my peaches and plums, Kristen from Dine and Dish suggested a Peach Cobbler from her site so I decided to take her up on it. It was really easy to make aside from peeling peaches which I hate to do. So after what seemed like hours of peeling peaches the rest of the dish was a relief. And it was very moist and flavorful and had a slight nutty flavor to the batter. So thanks for the great recipe Kristen I used up almost all of my peaches.

Peach Cobbler

Filling -
4 cups of ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Batter -
6 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups of AP Flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the 3 ingredients in the filling and set aside. In an 8 inch baking dish place the butter pieces and place in the oven until the butter melts. While it is melting combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. In another bowl mix together the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until everything is moistened. Remove the pan from the oven and spoon the batter over the butter spreading evenly but not stiring. Spoon the filling over the top and gently press in the peaches. Bake for 35-40 minutes and then sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the crust is golden.

This has been entered in Fruit Frenzy! Check it out!